S’mores baked Alaska

S’mores baked Alaska

By
From
The Desserts of New York
Makes
6
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

Baked Alaska made a comeback in the 1990s, but hasn’t been a Gotham favourite for a while now. Which is interesting given that Delmonico’s, America’s first fine-dining restaurant and a New York institution, is credited with importing it from France.

If baked Alaska reappears again, it should be in s’mores form! For me, the signature meringue and combination of hot and cold elements recalls all that is great about the fireside treat. I savoured incredible upmarket s’mores all across the city, from Dominique Ansel’s famous frozen version that’s torched to order to a standout interpretation at The Standard East Village’s hot new restaurant Narcissa. But not one s’mores baked Alaska.

So I’m leading the charge. Here, a buttery cookie base is topped with molten chocolate cake, a scoop of the best coffee ice cream you can find, and finished off in charred sticky meringue. It’s rich and the most delicious dessert.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
150g dark chocolate, finely chopped
125g unsalted butter, chopped
3 eggs
110g caster sugar
2 tablespoons almond meal
2 tablespoons plain flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
6 large scoops coffee ice cream

Butter cookies

Quantity Ingredient
115g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons caster sugar
55g light brown sugar
90g unsalted butter, chopped, softened

Marshmallow meringue

Quantity Ingredient
8 egg whites
440g caster sugar
180g glucose syrup

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease six 150 ml ramekins and place on a baking tray.
  2. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water) and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. Place the eggs, sugar, almond meal, flour and salt in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the chocolate mixture and stir until well combined, then divide evenly among the ramekins. Bake the cakes for 13 minutes or until the tops are just cooked (the cakes will be slightly gooey in the centre). Cool completely in the ramekins, then turn out and set aside until needed.
  4. To make the butter cookies, sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugars and butter and, using an electric mixer, beat until the mixture clumps together. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C.
  6. Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper to a rough 3 mm thick, 25 cm square. Transfer to a baking tray and remove the top sheet of baking paper, then bake for 8 minutes or until just golden and still soft. Remove from the oven. While still warm, using an 8.5 cm cookie cutter (or a cutter slightly bigger than the cakes), cut out six rounds, then cool completely on the tray with the offcuts (you get to snack on these later!).
  7. To make the marshmallow meringue, place all the ingredients in a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Cook, whisking, for 2 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm. Remove from the heat and, using an electric mixer, whisk for 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form and the mixture is cool.
  8. Just before serving, fill a piping bag fitted with a 9 mm plain nozzle with meringue. Divide the cookies among serving plates. If necessary, warm the chocolate cakes for 20 seconds in the microwave until just gooey in the centre but not warm, then place on top of the cookies. Using an ice cream scoop, place a generous scoop of ice cream on one cake. Working quickly, pipe buds of meringue all over to cover the ice cream, cake and base completely. (Alternatively, use a spatula to cover them freeform.) Repeat with the remaining cakes and meringue. Using a kitchen blowtorch, scorch the meringue, then serve immediately.

Tip

  • Make sure the ice cream is nice and hard or it will melt before you’ve finished assembling.
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Desserts
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